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C-Stores Are 4th Most Common Location for Violent Crime

Gas stations take 7th place in just-released 2020 FBI crime statistics
Photograph: Shutterstock

WASHINGTON — Convenience stores accounted for about 3% of violent crimes overall in 2020, and gas stations accounted for about 2%, according to new statistics released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Out of a total of 675,715 violent crimes represented by National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) data, 20,108 incidents occurred at c-stores in 2020, and 11,795 occurred at gas station, the data shows.

These statistics make c-stores and gas stations the fourth and seventh most common locations for violent crime, respectively. Restaurants are the eight most common locations.

The agency breaks down the statistics by reported instances of homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault and property crime, which includes arson, burglary, larceny-theft and motor vehicle theft at a variety of locations. It also provides data on age, gender, race, ethnicity, type of weapon used and other demographics.

Of the violent crimes that the FBI covers in the report, 157 or 2% of the 10,440 total crimes at convenience stores were homicides; 119 or 1% of the total crimes at gas stations were homicides.

The FBI reported 137,556 total robberies, 13,721 or 10% were at c-stores, while 7,006 or 5% were at gas stations.

Top 10 Number of Location Types by Category

  1. Residence home (346,399)
  2. Highway/alley/street/sidewalk (130,331)
  3. Parking garage/lot (45,107)
  4. Convenience store (20,108)
  5. Unknown (17,981)
  6. Hotel/motel (16,588)
  7. Gas station (11,795)
  8. Restaurant (10,490)
  9. Department/discount store (9,870)
  10. Park/playground (7,323)

Other notable retail locations:

  • Specialty store (6,948)
  • Grocery store (5,917)
  • Bar/nightclub (5,839)
  • Drug store/doctor’s office/hospital (5,756)
  • Liquor store (1,512)
  • Shopping mall (1,133)
  • Campground (662)
  • Rest area (279)
  • ATM separate from bank (221)
  • Arena/stadium/fairgrounds (127)

The statistics show that most homicides are committed by acquaintances rather than strangers (17% vs. 13%). In contrast, strangers are more likely than familiar parties to commit a violent crime overall (22% vs. 13%).

Guns were overwhelmingly the most common weapons used for violent crimes in all locations last year, figuring into 60% of incidents.

Additional FBI statistics:

  • In 2020, there were an estimated 1,277,696 violent crimes. When compared with the estimates from 2019, the estimated number of robbery offenses fell 9.3% and the estimated volume of rape offenses decreased 12.0%. The estimated number of aggravated assault offenses rose 12.1%, and the volume of murder and nonnegligent manslaughter offenses increased 29.4%.
  • Nationwide, there were an estimated 6,452,038 property crimes. The estimated numbers for two of the three property crimes showed declines when compared with the previous year’s estimates. Burglaries dropped 7.4%, larceny-thefts decreased 10.6%, while motor vehicle thefts rose 11.8%.
  • Collectively, victims of property crimes (excluding arson) suffered losses estimated at $17.5 billion in 2020.
  • The FBI estimated law enforcement agencies nationwide made 7.6 million arrests, (excluding those for traffic violations) in 2020.
  • The arrest rate for violent crime was 147.9 per 100,000 inhabitants, and the arrest rate for property crime was 267.3 per 100,000 inhabitants.
  • By violent crime offense, the arrest rate for murder and nonnegligent manslaughter was 3.8 per 100,000 inhabitants; rape (aggregate total using the revised and legacy definition), 6.3; robbery, 21.0; and aggravated assault, 116.8 per 100,000 inhabitants.
  • Of the property crime offenses, the arrest rate for burglary was 45.7 per 100,000 inhabitants; larceny-theft, 193.1; and motor vehicle theft, 25.5. The arrest rate for arson was 3.0 per 100,000 inhabitants.

These statistics and additional data are presented in the 2020 edition of the FBI’s annual report Crime in the United States. Click here to view the FBI Crime Data Explorer.

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